Kemal Oflazer, associate dean for research at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar and a faculty member in computer science, has authored "Turkish Natural Language Processing," a one-stop resource for understanding the state of the art in Turkish natural language and speech processing.
Oflazer has spent the last 25 years developing techniques and resources for natural language processing for Turkish, which offers challenges for the field that aren't present in English. For example, Turkish is an agglutinative language, which means that suffixes attach to a root word like beads on a string. One complex Turkish word with several suffixes could express the same meaning as an entire sentence in English. The language also contains other interesting properties, such as free word order where the subject, object or verb can be arranged in any possible order (whereas in English the order is more or less fixed.)
The book was published in 2018 and more than 2,000 copies of various chapters have been downloaded. Turkish is spoken by more than 70 million people in Turkey, the Middle East and in European countries, and the wider family of Turkic languages are spoken as a native language by approximately 165 million people worldwide. Before joining CMU’s Qatar campus, Oflazer received his Ph.D. from the CMU's Computer Science Department.
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